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I Don’t Mind Paying Full Price For Experience


The following is a blog swap post from Hank at Money Q&A where he answers all of your burning money questions about investing, saving, retirement, and a host of other topics. Be sure to check out my post, What Are Things You Never Go Cheap On And Why at his site today!

We all don’t want to pay full price for things. It is a part of our very human nature. We want a deal. We want to save money. We want to think that we scored a better price on something that we have bought even beating out the person sitting right next to us on the deal. How many times have you sat next to someone on an airplane and wondered how much he paid for his ticket? The drive to win and save plays right into our competitive nature as human beings. But, there are some things that you should pay full price for.


The Best Piece Of Advice I Ever Received

One of the best pieces of financial advice that I ever received in college didn’t come from one of my business professors but an unlikely chemistry teacher. One day he told our class that we should spend our money doing things and not collecting things. If you think about it, we spend our entire lives collecting possessions. But, is that the best use of our money? The best use of your money is to spend it doing things and experiencing things. That is what you will remember for the rest of your life. Will you remember the new 60 inch flat screen television that you bought five years from now? You’ll probably have to replace it before then. But, will you remember a trip to the Grand Canyon that you took with your family with that money instead? What will you think about when you look back at the photos you took during that trip? Will you eventually take your children or grandchildren back to that spot to relive it? What if you had just spent that money on the television instead? How much joy and satisfaction would you have really received? We can always find deals and collect objects throughout our lives, but I don’t think twice about paying full price for a truly amazing experience.


I Have 100 Goals Before I Die

I have a bucket list. I don’t like to call it a bucket list per se because it seems a little morbid to me, but that is what it technically is no matter what you call it. I have a list of 100 goals that I want to accomplish during my lifetime. If you look at the goals, there are just a couple of them that are about owning something. I always wanted to own a convertible car for example. But, a vast majority of my goals, probably 90% or more, on the bucket list are goals that are doing something, to gain some type of an experience out of life. For example, on my list are items like seeing a World Series baseball game, building a park, visiting all 50 states, seeing the Great Pyramid in Egypt, and a host of other things.

retirebyforty> I don’t mind paying for experience either. I still try to find a discount, but if it’s not available, then full price it is.  I paid full price for a sky dive and a bungy jump, and never regretted it. We love to travel as well, but I think there are a lot of ways to get discounts there.

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.

Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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{ 22 comments… add one }
  • cashflowmantra November 4, 2011, 5:49 am

    I have many things that I would like before I die as well and most will be experiences. I am content with my material goods.

    • retirebyforty November 4, 2011, 9:15 am

      We are mostly content with my material goods as well. Sometime I am still tempted by the latest and greatest gadget though. 🙂

      • Jon -- Free Money Wisdom November 6, 2011, 7:16 pm

        Haha, aren’t we all? I agree with you completely though. I would rather have my memories and relationships than cold hard objects.

  • 20'sFinances November 4, 2011, 8:43 am

    I like the idea of spending money to do things rather than get things. That’s my motto too (although, I’m not sure I ever had it formulated in words).

    • retirebyforty November 4, 2011, 9:15 am

      I like a little of both. 🙂

  • Jeff @ Sustainable life blog November 4, 2011, 1:21 pm

    I totally agree with this – If it’s an experience I want to have, I’ll gladly pay whatever price i’m quoted to do it. FIshing, zipline-ing, bungee jumping or whatever!

  • krantcents November 4, 2011, 3:10 pm

    It goes along with living a full and interesting life. I have no regrets because I have done everything I wanted to do. That is what life is all about!

  • Ashley @ Money Talks November 4, 2011, 6:38 pm

    I have a list of 100 things too. Really the only material things on it have to do with my home. I do want a nice home. I don’t need fancy personal items.

  • Roshawn @ Watson Inc November 4, 2011, 6:58 pm

    I do think paying for experiences is worthwhile. Like @Joe mentioned though, I still enjoy finding discounts when feasible and practical. This is one reason why I would rather go buy a $40-50 steak over a $10-$20 steak for a special occasion, provided that the more expensive steak tastes like one and is coupled with an experience that’s superb. I can’t recall a time when I regretted treating a family member or friend to a great time.

  • youngandthrifty November 4, 2011, 10:19 pm

    I have a bucket list too 🙂 I don’t mind paying full price for many things, epecially if they are of high value, and I can get a lot out of it.

  • Funancials November 5, 2011, 7:59 am

    “we should spend our money doing things and not collecting things”
    awesome advice

  • Simple Rich Living November 5, 2011, 10:57 am

    I am fairly content with the material goods I have as well. There is still always ‘wants’ that I want. This past year, I have been extremely conscious of the additional material goods I’ve acquired. I am slowly gearing myself toward ‘zero sump’ concept living or live with that mentality. For experiences, I still look for deals but definitely I am more willing to fork money to do stuff.

  • Aloysa November 5, 2011, 3:47 pm

    I totally agree with your chemistry teacher. Unfortunately, I still like shopping and collecting hmmm…. shoes and bags (my bad!) But I also know that I save the best when it comes to travel. If I know we need to save some money for a trip, I get this HUGE steely determination and discipline that I might lack with other goals. I value experience more than anything.

  • Neo November 6, 2011, 5:43 pm

    I am a collector of “memories” and I have no interest in collecting “things”

  • YFS November 6, 2011, 10:35 pm

    I like your idea of 100 goals to accomplish. I don’t have nearly as many goals.. hmm I should brainstorm a bit more

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